Michael and Janet have lived in their Matthews home for over 28 years. But for the past two of those years, they couldn't enjoy the warmth of it due to an issue with their HVAC system. They had installed the system when they first bought their home, but recently, it had been leaking freon to the point of being almost unusable. Heating and air services informed them that the only option was to replace the entire system.
The couple was living on a fixed income and could not afford to replace it. There simply was no room for emergency expenses, such as a new HVAC system. Living without heat was difficult for them, but they felt like it was their only choice. One day, they received a flyer about the Greater Matthews Habitat Critical Home Repair program in their mail. The program addressed health and safety issues for homeowners in the community and provided funding for HVAC repair or replacement at no charge for qualified households.
Michael and Janet quickly applied and completed a home visit, where they were informed that their repair needs met the program requirements. "It was a snap!" Michael exclaimed. Once approved, the program coordinated with local HVAC companies to install a new unit for the couple. After just two months of applying to the program, Michael and Janet now sit in the warm comfort of their home. "How can your life change – I mean literally? One day, you have no heating and air, or you're sitting and there's cold air coming out of your heater thing. And your heat bills are outrageous because apparently its an old, old system. Then the next day, it all changes," says Janet.
The Habitat program not only provided Michael and Janet with a new HVAC system but also gave them something priceless – a sense of community. "Not at any time did anyone make me feel like this wasn't normal, or any less than. Actually, in the big picture, it's like I'm a bigger part of the community," Janet adds. “Thank you community. Thank you for Mecklenburg (county). Thank you for Habitat.”